The Best Thing I've Seen All Week!


This video by Pricilla Shirer has so blessed my heart! Watch and be encouraged! You might recognize her from the awesome movie, War Room. For more faith-boosting encouragement, check out these great books by Pricilla.

Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer

After her great performance in the movie War Room, Pricilla wrote Fervent to minister to the real lives of today’s women, addressing the topics that affect them most: renewing their passion, refocusing their identity, negotiating family strife, dealing with relentless regrets, navigating impossible schedules, succeeding against temptation, weathering their worst fears, uprooting bitterness, and more. 

Each chapter exposes Satans’s cruel, crafty intentions in all kinds of these areas, then equips and encourages you to write out your own personalized prayer strategies on tear-out sheets you can post and pray over yourself and your loved ones on a regular basis.

Fervent is a hands-on, knees-down, don’t-give-up action guide to practical, purposeful praying.

The Resolution for Women

Written in partnership with the Christian film, Courageous, in The Resolution for Women, Priscilla Shirer challenges all women to be intentional about embracing and thriving in God’s beautiful and eternal calling on their lives.

Like the men in the movie who resolve to fully accept their responsibilities before God, Shirer explains how today's women can and should live out their own resolution. It is "a defining banner that hangs over your life, written in the ink of your own choices." A woman's banner should be an accurate reflection of who she desires to be--someone completely Christ-centered who blesses and changes things in her world for the better.
 
Question for you: What encouraged you most from the video? 

* This post contains affiliate links

5 Benefits of Memorizing Scripture

 If you need some encouragement to start memorizing Scripture, or you are in the middle of a memory project and need a motivating reminder to encourage you to keep going, check out my latest article at The Life, 5 Benefits of Memorizing Scripture.

The Life

 Questions for you: Which benefit encourages you the most? If you memorize Scripture, what benefits have you experienced from memorizing? 

The Awesome Blessing of Being Hemmed in By God's Love


You hem me in, behind and before… Psalm 139:5 


What It Means To Be Hemmed In By God's Love


Photo Credit by Boys and Bunting

When God hem’s us in it is literally to be surrounded by the Lord, our fortress and our defense.

Photo Credit Sharon Hinck  

“As though we were caught in an ambush, or besieged by an army which has wholly 
beleaguered the city walls, we are surrounded by the Lord. God has set us where we be, 
and beset us wherever we be. Behind us there is God recording our sins, or in grace 
blotting out the remembrance of them; and before us there is God foreknowing all our deeds, and providing for all our wants.” 
Spurgeon, The Treasury of David


"Our lives are totally encompassed by God. He’s got you surrounded. There are no openings for anything to come through to you that is not a part of the ultimate  purpose and will of God. This is what it means when God says He will keep you form all evil."


"I look back and I see the hand of God on my life. I look ahead and I see God's plan. And right now I feel the hand of God upon me. You see, I'm surrounded. My past, present, and my future is all wrapped up with God. "You've beset me behind and before, and Your hand is upon me."           

Question for you: What peace do you have knowing that, if you've confessed Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you are hemmed in by God's love?

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 Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Hope for Today!

Today I'm sharing about When You Can't, God Can, at The Life today! Whatever you are up against, whatever concerns you, when you can't, rest assured God can! Check out the challenge, be encouraged, and fill up on hope for today!

http://thelife.com/challenges/when-you-cant-god-can
 Photo (Flickr CC) by Joe St.Pierre 

One of my favorite songs to sing along with when I need a dose of hope is He Will Rejoice, by Trevor Morgan, which is Zephaniah 3:17 set to music. So beautiful and packed with uplifting reminders!

Zephaniah 3:17 Scripture Bible Wall Verse The Lord Your God Is With

Questions for you: What Bible verse or Biblical truth fills your heart with hope and encouragement when you are feeling overwhelmed? What can you do to keep those verses or truths in the forefront of your mind to give you hope in trying times? 


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 Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

9 Tips for Memorizing Your First Book of the Bible

After watching this inspiring video today on memorizing Scripture, I just had to share it. This 17 minute video will not only inspire you to memorize an entire book of the Bible, but will show you just how doable it is.


 

 I though it was neat that she got her start memorizing scripture after reading Janet Pope's book, His Word in My Heart, because it was that same book that inspired me to begin memorizing, too. 

 For more information on memorizing Scripture, my favorite two books are: His Word in My Heart and An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture by Dr. Andrew Davis. I've pulled several great nuggets from each that have helped me memorize several passages as well as countless Awana verses with my second grade daughter.

FREE: Teaching Childen to Accept No For An Answer

I remember when my little girl was two and I asked her to get her shoes on because it was time to go grocery shopping. To my surprise she said, "No." Up until that point she'd always do what I asked her without a fuss. It was a revelation to me. She was now expressing strong opinions based on her definite likes and dislikes. It was interesting to see this new development in her, but I knew parenting would never be as easy as it was up until then.

No child wants to get a no answer, if they see it as keeping them from some perceived good. Yet we know, there are going to be disappointments in life. There are times when activities we are enjoying must be cut short, or we cannot participate in something we so badly wanted to attend.  How we handle those disappointments makes all the difference. For me, I want to equip my daughter with the godly way of dealing with disappointments, so whenever she may disappointed she can respond in a Christ-like way that glorifies Jesus.


I was so excited when I saw my very favorite parenting organization, The National Center for Biblical Parenting, is giving away a FREE, 26-page PDF on How to Help Your Kids Accept NO for an Answer.  This resource is chocked full of awesome, biblical parenting wisdom. It will be available till August 8, so get it now while you still can. You will be so blessed!

Here’s a little something the National Biblical Parenting Center has to say about this FREE till August 8th resource:

“Everyone has to learn to live within limits and it’s best when children learn it young. Accepting no as an answer teaches children the valuable heart-quality of contentment. Children have many manipulative techniques to challenge a no answer including, whining, badgering, and arguing. If you see these bad habits in your kids, this session will show you exactly what to do to bring about the change both you and your kids need.”

Sound good? Here’s how you get this little gem. Simply go to Teaching Children to Accept No as an Answer (downloadable PDF) to get your freebie!

I’ve read several books from the National Biblical Parenting Center and have been so equipped and blessed by every book. I know this FREE resource on Teaching Children to Accept No for an Answer will bless you as well!

Questions for you: Have you heard of The National Center for Biblical Parenting? What could a resource like this make possible for you and your family?


For more encouragement check out the Women of the Word newsletter. Also, if you haven’t yet, visit my archives, follow me on Twitter or drop by my Facebook page and click “Like.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this site are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

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I'm linked up at these great blogs this week.
Check 'em out! Copyright © 2015 Brooke Espinoza.




Handling Anger God's Way

No matter how easy going we may be, at some point the frustrations of being delayed, being denied, or being disrupted  are bound to push some of our buttons. When those buttons are pushed how do you respond? While my desire is to respond graciously, fully trusting in the Lord to deliver and provide, in the heat of the moment it can be a challenge to respond to the irritations of life as Jesus would

 The Bible instructs:

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV)

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19-21 NIV)

And declares:

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (Prov. 16:32 (NKJV)

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. (Proverbs 14:29 NIV)

Desiring to always be Christ-like in my response to the irritations that come up, so as to not give the devil a foothold or respond with anger in a sinful way, I was excited to read June Hunt’s mini-book, Anger . Though it’s a quick read, it’s jam packed with practical wisdom and helpful insights for quenching the fire of frustrations as well as cautioning readers of the destructive consequences of anger. 

 

June Hunt’s mini-book, Anger will shed light on the warning signs, or characteristics, of both acceptable and unacceptable anger. Includes:
  • "Cues to Find Hidden Anger" checklist, making it easy to diagnose different ways in which your body is reacts to anger 
  • "Act or React" checklist

June Hunt starts this mini-book with a definitions section with simple explanations of each word associated with anger. Learn the magnitude, misuse, and misconceptions of anger. Also included in the definitions section are biblical examples of anger. For example, an example of acceptable anger is when injustice ignited righteous anger" in Jesus. Conversely, we find "unacceptable anger" in story of Saul and David, when King Saul's jealous anger over David's military victories burned like a fire, destroying many relationships including his relationship with God.
The last section titled, "Steps to Solution," gives you the power to be freed from anger with:
  • The 4 sources of anger
  • 4 Truths that will change your life
  • How to measure the amount of your anger
  • 3 steps to resolving anger
  • Releasing your anger prayer
  • And much more.
    Here June Hunt speaks about anger


I highly recommend Anger for individuals, as well as small groups. This book would prove helpful for anyone who has ever responded to irritations by acting out anger and then regretted it later. This book helped equip me to recognize which sources of anger historically spark frustration in me so I can plan for and rehearse a gracious and Christ-like response before I find myself in the heat of the moment without a plan. This mini-book helped me learn ways to properly respond to life’s frustrations in a godly way. Ultimately, we have the choice to respond to irritations wisely or  react foolishly. May we be faithful to obey God’s call, “In your anger, do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26)
Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader copy free from Rose Publishing as part of their review program for bloggers. I was not asked to write a positive review, but simply, an honest one. 

Questions for you:  How would your life be more joyful and peaceful by identifying what sparks frustration in you and how to respond to anger God’s way?


For more encouragement check out the Women of the Word newsletter. Also, if you haven’t yet, visit my archives, follow me on Twitter or drop by my Facebook page and click “Like.”  

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this site are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 
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I'm linked up at these great blogs this week. Check 'em out! Copyright © 2015 Brooke Espinoza.

Motivate Your Child Action Plan Book Review

Having been a big fan of the Parenting is Heart Work podcast, I was so excited when I got my copy of the Motivate Your Child Action Plan by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN of the National Center for Biblical Parenting.



 Before learning about the Motivate Your Child Action Plan I had already gotten so much out of  their other books:

What really excited me to read the Motivate Your Child Action Plan was that instead of relying on reward/punishment models, the only way of parenting I knew, I now was getting equipped to use this heart-based strategy to develop a tailored plan for my child. As an avid podcast and audiobook listener, I loved that with the book was a link to twelve audio programs, to walk me through the plan that  I could download to my phone and glean from on the go. Bonus!

Based on their previous book,  Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told, this action plan will give you the tools to motivate your child to make positive changes without resorting to nagging and harshness.



How This Book Can Help You 

This book will give you "a specific plan tailored to your child to maximize change."

Here is what the book promises:
"Learn how to develop a parenting plan that takes your child’s unique needs into account. Use the outline of firmness, visioning, teaching, prayer, and coaching to flesh out a strategy to move your child from where he is today, to where he needs to go. The Motivate Your Child Action Plan walks you through the process of identifying an area of weakness and then naming the character quality that needs to grow in your child’s heart. Read about the value relationship and learn the building blocks to make relationships strong in your home. From there you’ll have the framework to move through each day with greater direction and confidence.

The Motivate Your Child Action Plan will give you the tools to address sibling conflict, poor school performance, disrespect, laziness, procrastination, sloppy work, emotional outbursts, self-centeredness, and so much more.

This approach will equip and empower you to parent any age child, from toddlers to teenagers, and beyond. If you have a problem to address in your child, this book can help you envision the solution and then lay out the steps to get there."

I really enjoyed that in the twelve information-packed chapters that there was a great balance between helpful instruction and practical application exercises. As a busy wife and mom, I don't have lots of free time to wade through long books, so I appreciated that the authors kept the chapters brief and to the point, yet engaging, so reading through a chapter was both enjoyable and fairly quick. When I read non-fiction books, my thought is, "Just tell me what I need to know to..." The authors did a great job of telling me just what I need to know to properly motivate my child that is not only effective, but more importantly, Biblical. I always want my parenting to line up with Scripture and not be based off emotions or circumstances.

What I love most about the Motivate Your Child Action Plan, and the other books I've read by these authors, is not only am I learning Biblical parenting strategies to motivate my child towards good without resorting to nagging, I so love that these parenting strategies are designed to build character in my child and help me disciple her in the Lord. Ultimately that is what parenting is all about: discipleship. Because of that, I am very thankful for the Motivate Your Child Action Plan and the ministry the authors, Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, have at the National Center for Biblical Parenting. I look forward to how else the Lord will use this book in my parenting journey, as well as how God will use the authors to further instruct and equip parents to disciple their children in the Lord.

Question For You: What could implementing a Biblical parenting action plan make possible in your parenting and relationship with your children? 

Find more parenting encouragement from the authors at their website, blog, podcast, Facebook page, and  on Twitter at #heartparenting

Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader copy free from Rose Publishing as part of their review program for bloggers. I was not asked to write a positive review, but simply, an honest one. - See more at: http://brookeespinoza.blogspot.com/2014/02/gaining-hopeful-spirit.html#sthash.apTl3CjP.dpuf
Disclaimer: I received this review copy free from the National Center for Biblical Parenting as part of their review program for bloggers. I was not asked to write a positive review, but simply an honest one.


Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader copy free from Rose Publishing as part of their review program for bloggers. I was not asked to write a positive review, but simply, an honest one. - See more at: http://brookeespinoza.blogspot.com/2014/02/gaining-hopeful-spirit.html#sthash.apTl3CjP.dpuf

For more encouragement check out the Women of the Word newsletter. Also, if you haven’t yet, visit my archives, follow me on Twitter or drop by my Facebook page and click “Like.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this site are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Subscribe to Rivers of Water by entering your e-mail address in the box below:


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I'm linked up at these great blogs this week.
Check 'em out! Copyright © 2015 Brooke Espinoza.

Motivate Your Child Action Plan Giveaway — win an iPod Touch, $50 iTunes GC and #HeartParenting Books!

I recently learned about the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP) through a podcast episode and have been so blessed and encouraged by their podcast episodes, blog, and books! So far I have read and got a lot out of  these books:
Each one of these books I've read has been full of great biblical parenting advice and instruction. So naturally, I got excited when I found out about their newest release, the Motivate Your Child Action Plan.


If interested, read more about this book here and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Questions for you: Are you familiar with the National Center for Biblical Parenting? What are your go to Bible verses for equipping and refreshing you as a parent?

 

For more encouragement check out the Women of the Word newsletter. Also, if you haven’t yet, visit my archives, follow me on Twitter or drop by my Facebook page and click “Like.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this site are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Subscribe to Rivers of Water by entering your e-mail address in the box below:


Delivered by FeedBurner
Check 'em out! Copyright © 2015 Brooke Espinoza.

Why We Can’t Afford To Not Check In With God First

I’d read the story of Samson to my daughter many times before, but recently as I read her the part about Delilah incessantly pestering  Samson to know the secret of his strength, something struck me. Naturally Delilah wore Sampson down by all her nagging until he could take it no longer and finally he told her what make him so strong. But what struck me during this bedtime Bible story, that I had never noticed before was this:
We love The Golden Children's Bible. (It covers more stories than any other children's Bible I know of and rather than a retelling of Bible stories, these stories are straight scripture.)
I said to my daughter, 
“Look here, Delilah is pestering Samson over and over to know what makes him so strong. She wants to know what would make him as weak as any other man. Three times he gives her phony reasons for what would make him weak, like being tied up with new ropes. (Judges 16:6-9) Then each time Delilah does that very thing to him. (the third time while he slept.) Each time Delilah cries out in fake surprise, “Samson! The Philistines are among us!” To which the Philistines appear, and begin attacking Sampson thinking he has become weak. Clearly there is a pattern forming here.”
 What amazed me was when Delilah was pestering Samson to know the true source of his strength, after attempting to subdue him three times and set him up to be attacked by the Philistines,  she wears Samson down by her nagging so much  that he finally just volunteers  what makes him so strong  and how he could be made weak as any other man. I said to my little girl “What if Samson had first checked in with God, before telling Delilah his secret? What if he had first asked God, “Why does Delilah keep pestering me about this? Why is she so interested? Should I tell her what makes me so strong and what would make me weak? Can I trust her? Lord, what would you have me to say and do in this situation?“